Police raided The Stanford Daily’s building to search for photographs of student anti-war protestors in April of 1971. They threatened our sources, our journalism and our integrity. We were up to the challenge.
The raiders found nothing during their search, because The Daily had already destroyed all unpublished photos with identifiable protestors. All they found was a hardworking, mission-driven staff — a group of student journalists with grit, ready to fight for their values. A series of legal battles ensued, going all the way to the Supreme Court, that helped shape national free speech protections. The Daily separated from Stanford University in February 1973, making this volume the paper’s 50th anniversary as an independent 501(c)(3) California nonprofit corporation.
What would the police find if they unlawfully raided The Daily today? They would similarly find a determined staff with a commitment to truth, but they would also find a publication looking to the future. They would find:
- A digital-always publication. By applying technology to journalism’s aspirations, we are working to improve our newsroom for the modern world. Our volume will lean on the flexibility of online publication and social media to release content throughout the day, rather than just at night, so that our readers are equipped with the information they need as soon as possible. Multimedia integration will not be an afterthought, but a priority, for all of our pieces. We have redesigned our executive team to help achieve this goal. Now instead of having separate “print” and “digital” executive editors, emphasizing digital will be a focus for our entire executive team and all masthead editors.
- A strategy for storytelling. We’re back on campus. We’re back to in-person recruitment and onboarding. Our content should feel like it. During the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, our reporting was limited, albeit for good reason. But we haven’t forgotten where the heart and soul of student journalism lies — in on-the-ground reporting, powerful bonds with our community and a bustling newsroom that excites our journalists and inspires better content. That has been the message underlying every conversation we’ve held with our section leaders in the lead-up to this school year, and it’s the message we will continue to push.
- Staff development. We are nothing without our staff. Our content improves when we have consistent and well-trained contributors who develop meaningful relationships with sources, wrestle deeply with the issues on our campus and improve their creative craft. We will emphasize staff retention by instituting internal feedback systems and expanding our staff social opportunities. Staffers will develop their skills through regular workshop and speaker opportunities on cutting-edge practices in the field. With a strong staff, we will have strong content that serves the needs of our community. If you’re interested in joining our staff, you can do so here.
- Trust, transparency and independence. As trust in media declines, we must protect our relationship with readership and our journalistic integrity. Our executive team will be regularly penning a column to explain Daily operations and decisions to the community in the interest of transparency. We will also prioritize our business ventures in order to continue moving toward our north star goal of complete financial independence from the University.
We hope you’ll stay tuned for an incredible volume of stories to come. Join us as we continue to do what we love: bringing news to the Farm.
Sam Catania ’24 is the Vol. 262 Editor in Chief. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he is a Symbolic Systems major. He previously served as Chief Technology Officer and wrote for News at The Daily.
Kirsten Mettler ’23 is one of this year’s Executive Editors. Originally from Connecticut, she is a Political Science major, pursuing a minor and honors in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies. At the Daily, she has previously served as a Managing Editor for Arts & Life and a desk editor in News.
Tammer Bagdasarian ’24 is an Executive Editor for The Daily, and is planning to major in Communication and Political Science. He previously served as a News Managing Editor.